## Practical PhysicsThis classic companion to undergraduate practical work in physics describes the purposeful, critical approach that should be made to all physics experiments. It covers the statistical treatment of data and experimental methods, and gives advice on keeping efficient records, calculations, and scientific writing. The new edition features treatment of the c2 distribution, a section on atomic clocks, worked examples based on spreadsheets, and additional exercises. Existing examples and references have been brought up to date. The text is liberally illustrated with examples and exercises, with solutions to the latter. Although intended for undergraduates, Practical Physics will be of interest to researchers, not only in physics, but in other sciences as well. |

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Used in every engineering course and obviously have proven to work, since 1968...

### Contents

The object of practical physics | 1 |

lntroduction to errors | 5 |

22 Systematic and random errors | 6 |

23 Systematic errors | 8 |

31 Introduction | 9 |

32 Set of measurements | 10 |

34 Estimation of o and om | 14 |

35 The Gaussian distribution | 18 |

92 Checking the obvious | 118 |

93 Personal errors | 119 |

95 Working out results | 121 |

96 Design of apparatus | 122 |

Record of the experiment | 125 |

103 Recording measurements | 126 |

105 Diagrams | 127 |

106 Tables | 129 |

36 The integral function | 19 |

37 The error in the error | 22 |

Summary of symbols nomenclature and important formulae | 24 |

Exercises | 26 |

4 Further topics in statistical theory | 27 |

42 The straight line method of least squares | 30 |

43 The straight line points in pairs | 36 |

44 Weighting of results | 37 |

squares | 39 |

Exercises | 41 |

51 Error calculations in practice | 43 |

52 Complicated functions | 46 |

53 Errors and experimental procedure | 48 |

Summary of treatment of errors | 50 |

Exercises | 51 |

Some laboratory instruments and methods | 55 |

63 Micrometer screw gauge | 57 |

64 Measurement of length choice of method | 58 |

65 Measurement of length temperature effect | 61 |

66 The beat method of measuring frequency | 62 |

67 Negative feedback amplifier | 64 |

68 Servo systems | 67 |

69 Natural limits of measurement | 69 |

Exercises | 71 |

Some experimental techniques | 73 |

72 Measurement of resistivity | 79 |

73 Absolute measurement of the acceleration due to the Earths gravity | 86 |

74 Measurement of frequency and time | 94 |

75 The Global Positioning System | 98 |

Exercises | 101 |

Experimental logic 81 Introduction | 102 |

83 Sequence of measurements | 103 |

84 Intentional and unintentional changes | 104 |

85 Drift | 105 |

86 Systematic variations | 106 |

87 Calculated and empirical corrections | 109 |

88 Relative methods | 111 |

89 Null methods | 113 |

810 Why make precise measurements? | 114 |

Common sense in experiments | 117 |

107 Aids to clarity | 130 |

108 Some common faults ambiguity and vagueness | 131 |

Graphs | 133 |

112 Choice of ruling | 137 |

114 Units | 138 |

116 Indicating errors | 141 |

117 Sensitivity | 142 |

Arithmetic | 144 |

123 Calculators | 145 |

125 Checking algebra | 148 |

Exercises | 150 |

Writing a paper | 152 |

134 Plan of paper | 153 |

136 Diagrams graphs and tables | 155 |

138 Clarity | 156 |

1310 Conclusion | 158 |

Evaluation of some integrals connected with the Gaussian function | 161 |

The variance of s2 for a Gaussian distribution | 164 |

The straight line the standard error in the | 166 |

Comment on the dependence of m c and b | 170 |

The binomial and Poisson distributions | 171 |

Poisson distribution | 173 |

The x2 distribution test of goodness of fit | 176 |

Derivation of x2 distribution | 177 |

The function Pn2 | 180 |

Degrees of freedom | 181 |

Test of goodness of fit | 182 |

Worked examples | 184 |

Comments | 186 |

F Sl units | 188 |

names and symbols | 189 |

Decimal factors | 190 |

Definitions of the SI base units | 191 |

G Valuse of physical constants | 192 |

H Mathematical tables | 193 |

Solutions to exercises | 196 |

206 | |

207 | |

209 | |

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### Common terms and phrases

amplitude apparatus arithmetic atomic clocks average beam best line best value binomial distribution Boltzmann constant caesium Calculate the value calibrated consider constant correct depends device diagram digits effect electron equal equation estimate example experiment final error fractional error frequency fringe Gaussian distribution give given Global Positioning System graph instrument integral known laboratory large number least squares length light lock-in amplifier magnetic measured values method of least metre negative feedback neutron Newton's rings noise null obtained optical oscillation output pairs paper plot Poisson distribution practical physics precision primary quantities probability random errors range readings reduce refractive index relation resistance rotation sample satellites scale servo system set of measurements shown in Fig signal single measurement slope standard deviation standard error Suppose systematic error Table temperature theoretical theory thermal true value tube units variable variation varies viscosity voltage wavelength weights zero